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article imageOp-Ed: 2037 — The democrats' new Social Security lock box

article:303060:16::0
By Russ J. Alan     Jan 29, 2011 in Politics
Social Security insolvency: It's not as bad as you've heard... it's worse... and democrats are working hard to find a way to blame the collapse on Republicans.
In American politics, we hold these certain truths to be self-evident: that President George Bush will be blamed for everything done by the democrats before he became president as well as after his administration until such time as the next Republican president is elected and that conservatives must accept the miserable fact that they must hear, forever, ad nauseum, that Bill Clinton handed President Bush a budget surplus.
In his 1995 State of the Union Address (see clip), Bill Clinton said, "...now if we balance the budget for next year, it is projected that we will then have a sizable surplus in the years that immediately follow..."
It really depends, doesn't it, on what the real meaning of "if"- is
In his State of the Union Address video, Bill went on to explain to America his proposed earmark for the assumed surplus in "four words": "Fix social security NOW!" The democrat experts in music, pop culture and sports believe he did just that.
In 1995, the Republican majority congress under the leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich proposed a plan to eliminate the deficit in seven years. After five or six heated budget battles with Clinton who constantly fought against them during which he made statements such as that he was not that committed to balancing the budget, congress finally balanced the budget during his last term; but instead of handing President Bush a budget surplus, the failed policies of the Clinton administration such as NAFTA, The Community Reinvestment Act (which caused the housing bubble), his war against Serbia in Bosnia and Kosovo and his missile attacks on aspirin factories in Sudan and Afghanistan, resulted in a 2002 national debt increase of $281 billion.
THE LOCK BOX
Vice President Albert Gore, in his August 18, 2000 presidential candidate nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, said, as recorded by The New York Times,
"...Putting both Social Security and Medicare in an ironclad lock box where the politicians can't touch them -- to me, that kind of common sense is a family value."
The democrats keep trying to tell us, we would still have the Social Security Trust Fund in the lock box if it hadn't been for Jeb Bush and that electoral college thing down in Florida; instead, "George Bush and Dick Cheney took every dollar and spent it in Iraq on the war for oil".
Conservatives must also hear to the point of hurling that President Obama inherited the current national debt from the Bush administration. The hope and change electorate will never accept that Obama's addition to the national debt is greater than that of all the other presidents in U.S. history combined. President Bush was in his final year in office when Bill Clinton's housing bubble burst. Near to that time, President Bush signed for $17-18 billion to bail out the automobile manufacturers. In Obama's first nineteen months in office alone, he increased the national debt $2.5 trillion dollars.
Now in 2011, such as it happened during Bill Clinton's presidency, the Republicans have gained control of the House of Representatives. Pledges such as to "repeal and replace", cut spending, defund programs, vote against raising the debt ceiling and privatize Social Security have been coming from the new Republican legislators. New directors and staff have been placed in agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Within a few weeks of the election, new reports of the insolvency of Social Security and Medicare and other subjects were submitted to Congress.
2037: THE NEW LOCK BOX
On Thursday, January 27, 2011, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Director of the CBO testified before the Senate Budget Committee of the insolvency of Social Security and the current projections indicate $600 billion in deficits in the next decade as the economy struggles and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement. This year alone, Elmendorf said that Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, and by 2037, using the current information, Social Security funds will be exhausted.
As William Galston said in his January 28, 2011 article on the The New Republic website, "... it’s not as bad as you’ve read; it’s worse... the headlines understate the gravity of our situation. CBO is required to use current law as the basis for its estimates—to assume, for example, that all the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of 2012, that Medicare payments to physicians will be cut sharply, and that the alternative minimum tax will be allowed to affect millions more Americans."
The democrat Senators, up in arms to protect their "sacred cow" in the Senate Defend Social Security Caucus, came running out of the hearing ready to make statements for the press (see video):
Bernie Sanders, D Vermont, said, "Social Security has been the most successful social program in the history of this country. We are getting sick and tired of the Republicans telling us that Social Security is collapsing when the reality is that there is a $2.6 trillion dollar surplus in Social Security and it can pay every benefit to every eligible American for the next 27 years!"
Perhaps Senator Sanders has forgotten it is 2011. Perhaps he meant 26 years which would be 2037.
Barbara Boxer, D California, said, "We are going to stand up and we are going to be heard. We are going to stand up to those who would destroy Social Security but we are going to call them out on it!"
Chuck Schumer, D New York, said, "There is a move -- not to preserve Social Security from those on the other side of the aisle -- but to END it. They want to do the same for Medicare. What they've done is create a panic that Social Security is about to end in the next few years, then saying "Let's END it!". They want to privatize Social Security. Privatize equals END!"
What conservatives really want to do is privatize Chuck Schumer.
A few minutes later that day, the democrat-controlled, government, left-wing, propagandist media went into damage control mode. Charles Osgood used a sound clip from Andrew Biggs, former deputy Social Security commissioner:
"The Social Security Trust Fund has several trillion dollars' worth of Treasury bonds in it. And even if the system is running deficits through payroll taxes, it can redeem the bonds to pay full benefits."
See? There's no reason to worry. Social Security is safe. The democrats told us "...there is a $2.7 trillion dollar surplus..."-- "...in treasury bonds they can cash in. It will be fine until at least 2037."
The truth is, at the time of this writing, the national debit was $14,067,018,492,708.17 and is presently increasing at the rate of $4.15 billion per day. States such as Illinois, California, New Jersey, Illinois and others can't pay out promises such as trillions of dollars in state government pensions, they can't pay their vendors, and are facing bankruptcy. Since the states are sovereign, they are trying to get that "little" problem worked out so they can come under the control of the federal bankruptcy courts. Those states would lose their sovereignty to the control of the federal government. On a national level, the Republican legislatures are faced with a choice of raising the national debt ceiling even higher to pay the federal obligations, or to to cut federal programs and default on others.
2037 is not the reality. 2037 is the new lock box. When Social Security and Medicare collapses much sooner, in a few months, or within a couple of years, in the music, pop culture and sports filled minds of the American electorate, the Republicans will have spent the surplus, and they will be blamed, and George Bush will be blamed, until the next Republican president is elected.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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